Smartphones: Facebook can't snuff out the joy of text

Social media still less popular than the humble SMS for smartphone users...

Social media still less popular than the humble SMS for smartphone users...

Despite the growing popularity of Facebook, Twitter and email on smartphones, the humble text message continues to thrive.

According to research by professional services firm Deloitte, more than 50 per cent of smartphone users text every few hours or more, with 84 per cent sending a text message at least every day.

The report said despite the emergence of other mobile communication platforms, text messaging is likely to remain an important way in which people use their smartphones in the future, and that operators should consider how to maintain the appeal of the text message and to view it as complementary to social networking.

Text messaging still important form of mobile communication, according to Deloitte

Text messaging is still an important form of mobile communication, according to Deloitte
Photo: Shutterstock

The survey found that younger smartphone owners, aged between 18 and 24 years, are the most prolific users of texting, as well as the most likely to use social networks - suggesting that text messaging and social networking are not mutually exclusive.

Furthermore, the report noted the importance of text messaging as a gateway to data communication: "Operators should also consider text messaging's role as an introduction to data communications. For most users, of all levels of sophistication, the SMS will have been, or will be, the first type of data service used. Avid text message users are likely to also become enthusiastic users of mobile email, instant messaging and social networks."

The study also reported that mobile advertising has the potential to become a more important advertising medium, as it currently only forms a small fraction of the $500bn advertising sector, generating $3.5bn in 2010. Deloitte forecast that, globally, less than $1 of advertising revenue would be spent per mobile subscriber each year.

Mobile advertising offers the most versatile advertising platform, according to Deloitte, as users can follow links to websites or make a call to the advertiser.

Last month, Enders Analysis listed problems with mobile advertising, which included the small screen sizes of even top-end smartphones, the limited amount of time mobile users spend browsing on the web and a lack of standardisation between mobile platforms.

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